Somerset Folk Harp Festival
Somerset Folk Harp Festival

Event Dates July 16-18

harp subheader prefixWorkshops By Day

harp subheader prefixWorkshop Listings By Title:

harp subheader prefixWorkshop Focus Areas

harp subheader prefixSchedule Downloads

harp subheader prefixMore Great Stuff

Narrow Your Focus. Expand Your Horizon

You Gotta Have Harp Productions llc

Workshops: D-H

Be sure to refresh this page every time you visit our site to get the latest updates.
Previous Page | Next Page
Desmystify Learning by Ear: Mairi Chaimbeul
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm   Where: Room 11
One of the most important musical skills you can develop is the ability to learn by ear. It allows you to really dig into the core of different styles by transcribing and learning from recordings of the musicians you love, to dive into playing situations where we might be unfamiliar with the music with more confidence, and get the music that’s in our heads onto our instruments. Màiri will share her top tips on techniques, tools and exercises for developing your ear, looking at hearing and identifying patterns and shapes, and getting out of your head when it all feels a bit much! Targeted to any level player who is inexperienced in learning by ear or wants to improve that skill.
DIY harp maintenance 1: Knot Tying: Liza Jensen
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 11:30am-12:15pm   Where: Room 4
liza diy classLearn to Do It Yourself. You are, inevitably, going to break a string. You should know how to change it. Take this workshop and get a lesson in knot-tying and replacing strings. If you're a beginner or have never changed your own string, you must take this workshop!
DIY harp maintenance 2: Tuning: Liza Jensen
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 11:30am-12:15pm   Where: Room 4
Learn to Do It Yourself. This mini-workshop focuses on properly using your tuner and tuning your harp. Essential! Is there a difference between tuning with levers up or levers down? What about the difference between tuning loud or soft. Then what do you do when your lever buzzes when engaged? You gotta know this stuff.
DIY Music Biz: Lisa Lynne
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm   Where: Room 5
Much of the music business has become "Do-it-yourself" and artists today must navigate the things that agents and managers and record labels used to do. This workshop is a discussion of many aspects of the current music business landscape. Step through getting gigs, promoting your music, creating visuals, writing a press release, creating websites, blogging and navigating the social networks. Learn what it takes to share your music in unique venues you might have never thought of. Real world advice and open forum on how you can think outside the box and maximize your opportunities. You will come away with many new ideas on how to get involved in your community and expand your musical horizons.
Double-Strung Deep Dive: Sunday Add-on: Carolyn Deal
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sun. 9am-5pm   Where: Room 9
This all-day add-on is targeted to the non-beginner player who has been playing the double for a while. The day is divided in several sessions covering a myriad of techniques. Beginners are welcome to come and glean as much as they can and get in over their heads. This is a separate all-day event that you need to advance register for. For additional details and itinerary, click here.
Double-strung harp 201: Joy Hoffman
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg-Int. When: Sat. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 2
There are special techniques and effects that double-strung harp can accomplish that cannot be done on a single-row harp. Things like Echoing notes, as the Chinese say, " A thousand pearls fall on a jade plate." Joy will teach more patterns, tricky fingering, and the fun unexpected placing of both hands to achieve the texture only possible on double-strung harp. Joy will demonstrate setting up both sides of the levers under a different scale or mode to make the music sound " contemporary" . This will add to what you learned in either of our introductory double-strung harp workshops on Friday.
Double-Strung Harp: Amazing Arranging: Carolyn Deal
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 3:30-5pm   Where: Room 2
On double strung harp, arrangements can sound complex without being complex, because of the overlapping of the hands in the same register, and techniques like Ping-Pong. Learn ten simple steps for arranging. You’ll learn the usefulness of Delayed Thumb 1-5-8’s, Straight-Rhythm 1-5-8’s, New World Symphony Walking Bass, and Ice Cream Cones and more. Also learn how to transpose to best fit on your lap harp. This class is hands-on for double-strung players who already know basic double-strung techniques. Beginners are welcome to come and glean as much as they can and listeners are also invited. Extensive handout is provided.
Double-strung harp: First Steps: Joy Hoffman
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg. When: Fri. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room 2
This level of workshops is designed for anyone who has no experience on any kind of harp and who particularly wants to start playing double-strung harp. Joy will start with the sitting posture and hand position and then move on to learning double strung technique: scales, chords, and intervals. The class is all hands-on and without needing to using music at first. You'll then learn to play exercises from music and get some short pieces which Joy has arranged specifically for this class. You can use this workshop to reinforce our other Double-strung intro workshop given by Carolyn Deal or just jump into this class.
Double-Strung Harp: Improvisation: Carolyn Deal
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room 2
Already-double players will get the most out of this workshop. You'll get more a personalized coaching session and solidify your feel for double-strung in this workshop. Carolyn will then teach improv on the double-strung using things like White String Improv with Three Against One, Ice Cream Cones in several forms, plus improv with Offsets. For more experienced players, here is a chance to get coaching as you do the various techniques. Carolyn and helper(s) will be walking around the room looking at each person’s experiments. Beginners and the Double-strung curious may observe. Handouts restricted to hands-on players.
Double-Strung Harp: Introduction: Carolyn Deal
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 2
double-strung intro videoExplore how the double-strung can make even a beginner or intermediate player sound like a harp genius, and how an advanced player can soar beyond their wildest expectations. Find out why starting on a double-strung is easier than on a single-row harp and it's not as difficult as you think to see 2 rows. Some reasons Carolyn thinks you'll love double-strung: less dexterity needed, repeated notes are much easier, you can sound fast without playing fast, arranging a tune is easier, your hands don’t run into each other, you can do easy things and sound advanced because of the overlap. You’ll hear some of the many exclusive techniques that can be done on double-strung harp, and then get some hands-on to try them out for yourself. You'll need a basic knowledge of harp playing to take this workshop. We suggest getting familiar with 1-5-8s on both hands before coming. You'll learn: Staggered 1-5-8s, Cascades, Waterfalls, Bass-Chord Glissandos, Contrary Motion, Anchoring, Mirrored Three Finger patterns, and more. There will be a small number of double-strung harps provided for those who don't have them. Please contact Carolyn in advance to arrange for one. You can audit and observe this class without a harp.
Double-Strung Harp: More Techniques: Carolyn Deal
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 3:30-5pm   Where: Room 2
Because covering 300 techniques exclusive to the double-strung harp is just not possible in one workshop, in this class you'll build on what Carolyn presented in her Intro workshop! Carolyn will cover techniques like Three Against Four, Up Against Down Triads, Angel Finger against 1-5-8, Squiggles, Anchoring, Offsets, and more and you’ll get the hands-on instruction to try them out for yourself. Basic knowledge of harp playing is needed to take this workshop, including knowing your 1-5-8 chord position in both hands. Detailed handouts will be provided, including reference to Carolyn's online tutorials. There will be a small number of double-strung harps provided for those who don't have them. Please contact Carolyn in advance to arrange for one.
Double-strung view of therapeutic harp: Nancy Beal
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room 4
Whatever your level as a therapeutic harper, you'll want to find out how a double-strung harp can be your best friend in therapy work. Based on her thousands of hours of experience using her double-strung in therapeutic work, Nan will treat you to a brief harp therapy session, share stories and demonstrate how the resonance possible with a double-strung harp can be doubly effective in healing. The ability to improvise easily is vital when doing therapeutic work and Nan will show you how effortless this is on a double-strung. In this demo you'll be given concrete suggestions of various double-strung techniques that are most useful in harp therapy. Handouts will be provided. Harps are not needed to enjoy this workshop.
Exploring Latin Rhythms: Eduardo Betancourt
Type: Hands-on Level: Int When: Sat. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room 10
Latin Music is full of exciting and challenging syncopated poly-rhythms that'll give both your hands a real fun workout. You'll be playing in 3/4, 4/4, 6/8 and 5/8 and use some of the basic Latin techniques that will add a whole lot of flair to your repertoire. Take this workshop and get both hands working together with this master player. Play by ear musicians and sight-readers will be comfortable in this class.
Fingering Tips & Tricks: Sunita Staneslow
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am   Where: Salon 4
Good fingering can make the music fit like a glove! Whether you are using written music or playing by ear, how to get musical phrases to sit under your fingers just right is a real art. Are there rules for fingering? When do you follow those rules and when should you break them? Find out how to turn on your harp radar to navigate from one part of the harp to another. If you have small hands, this workshop will be very helpful to you. Bring your fingering questions and get answers to these and more!
French Estampie: Christa Patton
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room 3
Originating in the 12th and 13th century, French Estampie are finely crafted and timeless dances and music, meant to evoke a full range of scenarios: from an intimate dance of veils to an earthy and exquisite celebration of movement. In this workshop, Christa will show how the simple verse-refrain form of French Estampie make them easy to play and serve as a base to improvise. Sight-reading required but good ear learners will have no trouble picking up the refrains.
French Flavor in Québécois Music: Ailie Robertson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 1:30-3pm   Where: Room 8
You'll find yourself transported to the dance-halls of Montreal to enjoy its vibrant French culture in this workshop with Ailie. Quebec has a rich tradition of achingly beautiful waltzes and airs, as well as wonderful dance tunes. Come and learn about the lyrical Quebecois tradition with its sweet melodic lines and rich accompaniment. Old and new compositions will be explored, as You will leave with your fingers flying, your feet tapping, and your heart full of joie-de-vivre! aught by ear with sheet music handed out at the end of the class.
Friday Night Concert: Event
Type: Concert Level: Any When: Fri. 7:30-9:30pm   Where: Salon 2/3
Performers to be announced
Go Paperless with Digital Sheet Music: Robbin Gordon-Cartier
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Fri. 3:30-5pm   Where: Room 1
Explore the world of digital sheet music and how to make the switch from paper to tablet. Come to this workshop with your questions, experiences and ideas! Robbin will go over the basic starter pack and give tips and favorite shortcuts and enhancements to make going digital easy and helpful. Find out how liberating it is not dragging a case of music to a gig and having access to music that is not even in your paper library yet. You'll get all the pointers in getting started, including how to convert music you already have, organizing tips, best practices for using the tablet in practice and at gigs and so much more.
Harp Meditations: Joanna Mell
Type: demo Level: Any When: Sat. 8:30-9am   Where: Room 1
30 minutes. Relax and meditate while Joanna plays pieces from her new book, "Meditations for Small Harps". Open to non-harping companions.
Harp Regulation & Maintenance: Liza Jensen
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm   Where: Room Festival Lobby
The mysteries of harp regulation will be completely resolved in this one workshop with our expert harp technician! Liza will answer your questions about what it means to have your harp regulated and all its associated concerns such as what happens to your harp as it ages and why the harp shifts. See what that looks like. Bring your harp to this workshop and see it for yourself. How old is too old for your strings to be on your harp? What are the top 5 reasons your harp will buzz? There are all sorts of things to be learned about your harp--no matter how long you've been playing you'll learn all kinds of useful info in this workshop.
Harp Tasting: Large: Event
Type: Demo Level: Any When: Sat. 12-1pm   Where: Room 11
A blind testing that allows the audience to hear and compare the sounds of several harps without knowing their brand. The listeners sit with their backs to the stage, where the same piece is played on each harp by 2 diffferent players. Audience members are given evaluation sheets which they can use strictly for their own purposes. There are "no winners" at a harp tasting since every musician has different criteria by which they judge and everyone has their own likes and dislikes. Large harps are more than 29 strings.
Harp Tasting: Small: Event
Type: Demo Level: Any When: Fri. 12-1pm   Where: Room 11
A blind testing that allows the audience to hear and compare the sounds of several harps without knowing their brand. The listeners sit with their backs to the stage, where the same piece is played on each harp by 2 diffferent players. Audience members are given evaluation sheets which they can use strictly for their own purposes. There are "no winners" at a harp tasting since every musician has different criteria by which they judge and everyone has their own likes and dislikes. Small harps are 29 strings and less.
Harpers' Escape at Somerset (intermediate): Sunday Add-on: William Jackson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sun. 9am-9pm    Where: Room 5
It's the Harper's Escape at Somerset! Everybody learns the same "group" tune and adds accompaniment suited to their level. Then each group will learn additional tunes, learned by ear, and get left-hand tips and tricks for the accompaniment. A group session will finish the day after dinner with all the levels playing together. People who are signed up for this will get access to download audio files to listen to in advance (as is the way for the Harpers' Escape). William will be leading the intermediate group. This is a separate all-day event that you need to advance register for. See this page for costs/itinerary. If you're already registered for the festival and need to add it now, use this form.
Harpers' Escape at Somerset (advanced level): Sunday Add-on: Grainne Hambly
Type: Hands-on Level: Adv. When: Sun. 9am-9pm   Where: Room 3
It's the Harper's Escape at Somerset! Everybody learns the same "group" tune and adds accompaniment suited to their level. Then each group will learn additional tunes, learned by ear, and get left-hand tips and tricks for the accompaniment. A group session will finish the day after dinner with all the levels playing together. People who are signed up for this will get access to download audio files to listen to in advance (as is the way for the Harpers' Escape). Grainne will be leading the advanced-level group. This is a separate all-day event that you need to advance register for. See this page for costs/itinerary. If you're already registered for the festival and need to add it now, use this form.
Harpers' Escape at Somerset (beginner group): Sunday Add-on: Debbie Brewin-Wilson
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg. When: Sun. 9am-9pm   Where: Room 1
It's the Harper's Escape at Somerset! In the first session, everybody learns the same "group" tune and adds accompaniment suited to their level. Then each group will learn additional tunes, learned by ear, and get left-hand tips and tricks for the accompaniment in the second session. A group session will finish the day after dinner with all the levels playing together. People who are signed up for this will get access to download audio files to listen to in advance (as is the way for the Harpers' Escape). Debbie will be leading the beginner-level group. See this page for costs/itinerary. If you're already registered for the festival and need to add it now, use this form.
Healing Harp, Healing Voice: Cass Jendzurski
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 9:30-11am   Where: Room 4
One doesn't need to have a "great" voice to put it and your harp to good therapeutic effect. Cass will lead this workshop in a demonstration as well as participation of using your voice therapeutically while supporting it with your harp. Learn how to work one-on-one and in group sessions. Cass will also go into where/how to study for certification and how to promote yourself as a healing musician. Knowledge of basic chords is required.
Henry plays harp: Christa Patton
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm   Where: Room 9
King Henry the VIII of England was a well known music lover and patron of the arts. In his personal psalter he is depicted playing a harp as his fool stands by. Many compositions attributed to him can be found in a manuscript named after him. You and Christa will be looking at these spare but lovely polyphonic pieces and enjoying how well they fit the harp, both as complete pieces to play alone or in consort with other harps. All harps are welcome. Sight-reading needed.
Historical Early Gaelic Harps: The Hollybrook Story Karen Loomis
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Sat. 1-2:30pm   Where: LIVE ONLINE
lamont harpThe bell-like sound of the harp of Ireland and highland Scotland was heard in great halls throughout the Gaelic world. Built to be strung with wire, the substantial frames of the few surviving historical instruments stand in silent testament to a rich, centuries long musical tradition. Karen will premier the results of her forensic analysis and study of Ireland's Hollybrook harp. This is an interactive online lecture where you'll have a chance to talk to Karen directly and ask questions about her research.
Historical Tour of the Early Gaelic Harps: Karen Loomis
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Anytime   Where: Somerset Online
From the middle ages through the early modern period, the bell-like sound of the harp of Ireland and highland Scotland was heard in great halls throughout the Gaelic world. Built to be strung with wire, the substantial frames of the few surviving historical instruments stand in silent testament to a rich, centuries long musical tradition. Today, this type of harp is undergoing a revival, as musicians seek to recapture its lost sound. In this presentation, Karen will trace the history of this iconic instrument through the surviving harps. Hear how Karen's ground-breaking forensic analysis of the Queen Mary harp and other recent discoveries are reshaping our understanding of these ancient instruments and are making it possible to build new instruments that more closely follow the craftsmanship of the originals.
Previous Page | Next Page

If you find a mistake in any of these schedules pages please let me know!


Updated 6/18/20
Workshop descriptions and schedules are subject to change. Refresh your browser to make sure you have the latest version of this page.